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24 September 2012


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Perhaps someone could explain how Israeli military authority functions, specifically, where does the authority to authorize a strike on Iran rest? Is this an action Bibi can order unilaterally?

Second, should a conflict start, what civilian(s) exercise command authority over Israeli military forces as well as the course and scope of the military campaign?

William R. Cumming

Congress has recessed until the elections are over! Should President Obama call a Special Session on any topic?


Finally tried the Laphroaig. Very good, thanks for the suggestion. Do you (or anyone) have a good venison recipe?

Brad Ruble

Just finished "This Mighty Scourge, Perspectives on the Civil War" by James M. McPherson. I found it worth the time.
I read an article today that quotes Lincoln's first State of the Union Address. "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration".
Not that it would make a dimes worth of difference but I wonder if there is a Republican or Democrat alive today who would be comfortable with a statement like that.


Actually, I just want to write an open "letter" of thanks for hosting this blog. It might be a bit cliche, but even if I do not always agree with everything I read, I always find the things written thought provoking.


Congrats for the choice. You ought to try Quarter Cask if you like the normal variety.


While thanking the host, who is most deserving, I would like to pat ourselves on the back. I mean we, the commentators. Of all the 'major' blogs I frequent over the years, this still has the most informative, erudite, and least contentious, comments of all the blogs I have come to.



Sounds a lot like "Sepp." A little humor? I notice where you live. pl

doug tunnell

The 30th anniversary of Sabra and Chatilla brought a rare insight into the real time conversations between Americans and Israelis during that dark event...The transcripts of Sharon's comments reveal a style of "dialogue" that would probably be familiar to those talking to Bibi Netanyahu about Iran's nuclear program today...


Paul Escobar

Brad Ruble,

You maybe peeved at your American politicians for ignoring such inconvenient truths.

But look on the bright side: In South Korea, the military recently banned the works of economic historian Ha-Joon Chang.

Ha-Joon's "thought-crime" was to study American & South Korean economic development & convey the politically incorrect quotes/experiences of: Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, & General Park Chung-hee.

Apparently, these notable historical figures risk inspiring sedition against our harmonious global economic order.


While it is sometimes delightfully intoxicating to talk about world events, I think we should regularly count our blessings and be thankful for small mercies.

I am taking my partner for her first post chemo cancer checkup this morning, almost exactly a year after she was diagnosed with colon cancer.

At The Virginia Capes

Last week I saw a shiny new big pickup truck with two bumper stickers on the back of the tailgate.
One said "Fight Terrorism, Support Israel", the other said "Proud Parent of a Sailor".
When I read the stickers, I couldn't help but think of the crew of the U.S.S. Liberty.
I suppose the owner is too young or of short memory.


There goes the tax return!


let me extend the hand of friendship and best wishes to you both. pl

SAC Brat

To keep the Open Thread tradition going...

Today the sportsmen from work went to the Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds http://www.deshotelsarms.com/ to shoot some trap at the county park. Grab the street address and take it to Google Aerial Intelligence.. err Google Maps and check out the grounds. Another fun shooting sport that I have minimum aptitude at. I thought renting a Beretta over/under for nine bucks was a good deal. Good folks and lots of families there. Good safety class for 17 bucks, shells and gun included.

On the home front, I was trying to sort out expensive adult eye wear and pistol shooting and after digging out an old Webley Hurricane pellet pistol to test a new set of glasses quickly, decided to make a 10 meter air pistol range in the basement and add this older Olympic style pistol to the collection: http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2005/12/izh-46mthisun-aint-no-toy.html Bench resting this pistol makes offhand problems obvious, but at twelve bucks for 500 match pellets, I can practice offhand.

Watch out 2192 Olympics, here I come.


The opinion piece says America was 'complicit' in the massacres. Really? As if Reagan was going to militarily stop Sharon. Of course Rachel Corrie was 'only' an American and it was 'only' the IDF and hey, peacefully protesting? Just who did she think she was dealing with?


Best wishes to you both. A good friend of my family's has fought leukemia into remission twice, she's 77 and still the strongest woman I know.


Good luck and all the best Walrus.


Hi Walrus,

Wishing you both the best.


different clue

I have a thought which is not well-developed enough to be a recipe. Years ago someone gave me some venison chops. I discovered that if I broiled them for VERY few minutes they did not get too dry and might even still be barely pink-rare inside. And some coriander powder on the surface went very well on them. Also, I used some venison pieces in a stew the way one uses beef in a beef stew. I put a few crushed cardamom seeds in the pot which went very well with the stew.

different clue

Senator Harkin of Iowa might be. Representative Kaptur of Toledo-and-area might be.
Former Representative Kucinich from the Cleveland area might be. Rep John Dingell in S.E. Michigan might somewhat be. Some others of that sort might be.

different clue

This may sound too strange to take seriously but, has anyone here wondered if there is a difference between contrails and "chemtrails"? I never thought about it or even knew to think about it until I chanced upon a deeply tinfoil website which told me all about it. After that I started looking up and noticing that on some blue sky days I would see jets leaving classic contrails which extended for maybe 200 or 300 times the length of the plane and then dissipated. On other equally blue sky days I would see such trails which would cross the whole sky and last for a half hour or longer, sometimes widening to the width of natural cirrus clouds for their whole length. Sometimes
I will see the sky thinly gridded with 10 or 13 or 17 of these long-lasting trails. Recently I saw such a trail and while I was looking at it I saw whisps of cloud spreading "downwind" from it randomly along its length . . . as if nucleating agent particles were blowing a short distance downwind perpendicularly to the long axis of the trail and generating cloud whisps.

Has anyone else noticed such a thing or am I just viewing the sky through tinfoil-colored glasses?

David Habakkuk

Best of luck to you both, Walrus.

Medicine Man

Good luck sir.

At The Virginia Capes

My best wishes to her and you, and pray that she has a full recovery.

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